US Mourns Arizona Shooting Victims

by
staphni
"(BBC)
The US is mourning the deaths of six people in a shooting in Arizona on Saturday which left a congresswoman seriously wounded.

Flags across the country are flying at half mast, and President Barack Obama has led the nation in a silent tribute. The man charged with the attack, Jared Loughner, is to appear in court later.

Representative Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head, remains in a critical condition but doctors say the swelling in her brain has stabilised. She had been holding an open-invitation meeting with constituents outside a supermarket in Tucson when a man holding a gun approached and opened fire.

Ms Giffords, 40, was shot from close range by the gunman, who then began shooting into the crowd.

Among the dead were a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge. A total of 14 people were injured, in addition to the six who were killed. The girl, Christina Taylor Green, was born on 9/11 and featured in a book Fifty Faces of Hope about some of the children born on that day. 'Come together' From the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama led the nation in a silent tribute.

About 300 White House staff members joined the brief outdoor ceremony, bowing their heads as a Marine honour guardsman rang a bell three times. On the east steps of the Capitol building, hundreds of congressional staffers also paid tribute to Ms Giffords and the other victims of Saturday's shooting.

""It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart,"" President Obama said in a statement on Sunday. "